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Posted by on Jun 17, 2013 in Featured, Media, Politics, Science & Technology, Terrorism | 7 comments

NSA aims to declassify data on thwarted terror attacks

NSA aims to declassify data on thwarted terror attacks (via AFP)

The National Security Agency plans to reveal details Monday about terror plots it says were thwarted by surveillance, part of an effort to assuage concern about is secret online snooping. In a rare move, the NSA wants to declassify what its director says were dozens of foiled plots, which could help…

  • dduck

    Best way to calm down the “1984” crowd.

  • The_Ohioan

    Well, there seems to be a debate going on in the Senate if nowhere else. Senators Udall and Wyden are introducing legislation to limit the all encompassing gathering of phone numbers and Senators Feinstein and Chambliss are convinced it’s necessary.

    The public seems to think it’s OK as long as the content is not accessed except with a FISA warrant, and NSA wants to declassify some information on plots uncovered with the program.

    We have yet to see if NSA can come up with any successes using this method. If they can’t show some pretty good evidence, that serious harm has been prevented, Congress should be seriously active to curtail their access. The question is how to proceed and be able to do it with reasonable efforts at protection and yet also setting up a high barrier to prevent misuse against the populace.

    The technology genie is out of the bottle; stricter laws to curb and contain that problem child are necessary. It reminds me of the cartoons depicting the nuclear power plant’s distinctive form as a malevolent baby (I thought it was Oliphant, but can’t find the image now). Maybe the computer is more of a malevolent teenager; I don’t think it’s reached full maturity yet.

  • DaGoat

    Even if the government can show successes with this program, that doesn’t address the constitutional concerns and the concerns about adequate oversight. Just because a program has occasional successes doesn’t mean it is justifiable and proper.

    Obama claimed last night the program was transparent since it has a secret court overseeing it. Well no, if something is secret that pretty much means it’s not transparent. It also looks like the FISA court has taken the Ado Annie approach of being unable to ever say no. Obama claimed that was because investigators do such a bang-up job of selecting their requests there has not yet been a questionable one. That defies belief.

    dduck I understand New Yorkers have a personal take on this that other states might not understand, but out here in the sticks we’re pretty familiar with BS and Obama seems to be shoveling a lot of it.

  • DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist

    The Washington Post reports:

    Keith Alexander, the director of the National Security Agency, said 50 ‘terrorist events’ were thwarted with help from sweeping surveillance programs that monitor phone calls and Internet data. In testimony before the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, officials made public two new cases they say the programs disrupted: a nascent plot to blow up the New York Stock Exchange and a case involving an individual providing financial support to an overseas terrorist group.

    Read more here

  • dduck

    DG, I’m afraid we have to disagree on this one, and that’s a good thing, meaning that we moderates aren’t in lock step with either party or on every issue.
    By the way, I’ve stepped in some cow and chicken droppings working on a farm, but I am also skeptical of the “1984” chants being overdone.

  • DaGoat

    No worries on the disagreement, dduck. I don’t agree with the “1984” chants either but I think there are some legitimate privacy concerns here. We need to find the right balance between maintaining privacy and gathering intelligence. I think the government has tilted too far towards the latter, and although the oversight mechanisms are in place they don’t appear to be very functional.

  • dduck


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